Chef Fernando’s Dairy-free Crunchy French Toast

From Our Kitchen To Yours

We’re honored to have an award-winning culinary program at Willow Valley Communities. Together, our amazing team of chefs create unique and delicious senior living dining menus for our campus’ 12 culinary venues. We’re excited to share some of those great dishes with you.


Featured Chef: Chef Fernando Garcia-Aguila
Featured Recipe: Dairy-Free Crunchy French Toast

About Fernando:

Catering Chef Fernando Garcia-Aguila effortlessly creates show-stopping recipes at events held at the Cultural Center and Chautauqua Hall at Willow Valley Communities. His repertoire covers a variety of flavors from  Mediterranean to  traditional American and Caribbean dishes, as well as those tried and true from his native Cuba.

As a boy in Cuba, Fernando says food started everything for him and he believes food brings people together and makes them happy. While growing up he cooked for his two younger twin brothers while both of his parents worked. Fernando then attended culinary school in Cuba and started his career at  Hotel  Jagua in the province of Cienfuegos, Cuba. He made his way to the United States and Lancaster and became a U.S. citizen in 2013. Before coming to Willow Valley Communities he worked at Lancaster’s Central Market and Marriott and Hershey hotels. A highlight of his career was working for celebrity Top chef Fabio Viviani in California.

Dairy-Free Crunchy French Toast


  • Large eggs3
  • Unsweetened coconut milk (or cream)1 cup
  • Ground cinnamon1 tsp.
  • Corn flakes, crushed1 cup
  • Vanilla extract1 tsp.
  • Thick slices of bread (preferably Texas Toast or Brioche)4
  • Liquid coconut oil4 tbsp.
  • Maple syrup1/2 cup
  • Whole banana, sliced1
  • Dairy-free Nutella(to your taste)


  1. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees, or place a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Place crushed cereal to a bowl or shallow dish.
  3. Mix all ingredients (eggs, coconut cream, vanilla, cinnamon) in a bowl and whisk well.
  4. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and then press gently into the cereal, flipping to coat both sides.
  5. Add the coconut oil to the skillet or griddle over medium heat. Place the bread slices on the hot skillet and cook for a few minutes until golden brown.
  6. Once golden brown, flip and cook on the other side.
  7. Add syrup and the sliced banana in a separated pan over medium heat for 2 minutes; bring it to a boiling point till maple syrup thickens.
  8. Coat the crunchy toast with the sliced bananas and syrup. Top your dish with Nutella to your taste.

My wish is for you to find a new family favorite in this recipe!  I hope you enjoy this recipe and come up with your own the same way I did. Buen Provecho to you all!

Hungry for more?

Visit the Insights Blog to see even more delicious recipes right from the Willow Valley Communities' kitchens.

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